Chelsea Girl

Brunch at Honky Tonk

by Chelsea Girl on February 5, 2013

If you’re looking for somewhere new to try for brunch, have you dropped by Honky Tonk yet? I finally got round to trying it over the weekend, despite it being a stone’s throw away and I think it’s worth checking out.

Honky TonkLocated on Hollywood Road, this New-York-styled bar and restaurant is quite a refreshing addition to the Chelsea scene. The restaurant’s design has created a nostalgic feel that takes us back to the 50s. And depending on which wall you are facing, you could be forgiven for feeling as if you were supposed to be dining in a large record-playing booth.

Honky Tonk

Honky TonkI managed to snap these photos when a few tables were cleared within minutes of each other, so the place wasn’t as empty whilst we were eating.

For our brunch, the bf and I both decided to go for a Full House breakfast which included bubble and squeak; tomatoes; a portobello mushroom; smokey barbecued baked beans; toasted brioche; and eggs. I had my eggs poached but I didn’t have my toast, which I donated to the bf’s plate instead.

What I loved about this brunch was that it wasn’t greasy at all. I love a good fry-up but most times I tend to enjoy them at home, replacing baked beans and toast with asparagus and slices of potatoes.

But Honky Tonk’s Full House breakfast won me over. The baked beans were a delightful surprise (because I love that BBQ flavour) and the bubble and squeak was light to eat.

Honky Tonk brunchTo accompany our food, the bf had a caramel milkshake which he was impressed by whilst I had a freshly squeezed orange juice.

Honky Tonk

Honky TonkAnd whilst I had a delicious time here, I’m now curious to see what the evening ambiance has to offer. Honky Tonk has an impressive-looking cocktails menu and the American food menu looks good too. So making sure that we were definitely coming back, I booked a table for in a couple of weeks time as we were leaving. Admittedly I am quietly excited that this new Chelsea hangout is practically on my doorstep and I’d love to see the bar come to life!

Honky Tonk BarI’ll let you know how it goes!

 

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Sunday Sanctuary at Bar Galante with Bliss Spa

by Chelsea Girl on February 4, 2013

I am so excited about writing this post – one just for the ladies! If you fancy feeling spoiled for an afternoon and spending quality time with your girlfriends, then you must read on.

Bar Galante Sunday Sanctuary with Bliss SpaThe venue is Bar Galante, which some of you may know is one of my favourite bars in Chelsea and this free women-only event includes treatments from Bliss Spa, who are normally located across the road. You can see their front door from the bar if you sit by one of the windows.

When you arrive, you receive a pair of slippers which you can wear in the bar (a lot of girls did) as well as a goodie bag with Bliss products.

Bilss Spa Goodie BagDuring the afternoon, the Bliss staff are on hand to provide massages and manicures with Essie polish.

Bliss Spa Massage at Bar Galante

Bliss Spa Manicure This is the colour I picked.

Bliss Spa ManicureAnd as well as these spa treatments, there are screens placed around the bar with films playing …

Bar Galante - TV Screen… which you can listen to with the headphones provided. They showed Friends With Benefits and a Ryan Reynolds movie (sorry, I’m not sure what it’s called). In other words, a chick flick and eye candy were provided. ;)

Bar Galante Sunday SanctuaryWhen you arrive at the bar, you also receive a free champagne cocktail. And thereafter, there is a special Sunday Sanctuary cocktail menu which you can order from. The cocktails include Classic Bellini; Breakfast Martini; and Bloody Mary Martini (£10-£12), as well as non-alcoholic cocktails such as Strawberry & Basil Lemonade; Green Martini and Berry Blast (£4.25). I also saw groups of friends order bottles of wine between them. And if you’re feeling peckish, there is also a bar snack menu to order food from.

Bar Galante - CocktailsSome ladies were sitting around and chatting whilst others sat back and watched the movies. Others were enjoying their spa treatments, either listening to the music playing in the bar or whilst watching a film with their headphones on. The whole atmosphere was very chilled and indulgent. In other words it really was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon in February.

If you’re interested in booking a table for you and your girlfriends, all you have to do is email RSVP@BARGALANTE.COM. There are two time slots: 1pm and 3pm and like I said, this is a free event. So I just have to ask, what’s stopping you? ;)

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Don’t Miss In February 2013!

by Chelsea Girl on February 1, 2013

So the longest month of the year is over – or so it felt like it. And now it’s time to get on with 2013, forget about Dry January (if you bothered) and look forward to this being the last month of winter (officially). To help you along, here are my top 5 don’t miss tips for February 2013:

1. It’s the Super Bowl on Sunday and most of us are probably talking about Beyoncé’s much anticipated performance rather than the game. Either way, if you are planning on having a Super Bowl party then consider heading down to Bodean’s BBQ to pick up their marinated meat which are vat packed and therefore easy to cook. Here are the instructions to give you an idea.

Bodean's BBQ Window

Unfortunately Bodean’s Super Bowl party has sold out so this would be the next best thing if you do love their tasty ribs. And if you haven’t tried them yet, here’s my review from the other night.

2. Paris concept store, The Space, is coming to Austique on the King’s Road for one week only over London Fashion Week, from 14th until 21st February 2013.

The Space is a creative hub which hosts emerging Parisian designers, cutting edge fashion labels and international artists and like Austique stocks labels such as Zimmermann, Austique, Cheek Frills and Madeleine Thompson. They will also be showcasing a selection of SS13 collections, which include Parker, Camilla & Marc and lifestyle brands such as Twins for Peace, Claus Porto and Nina Peter.

Austique

3. Donna Ida’s current sale is ending on Monday 4th February 2013 with a serious bang! That is to say, 75% off with an extra 20% off. Just make sure you enter SPECIAL20 at the checkout.

Click here to find out which items are in the clearance sale.

Donna Ida Clearance Sale

4. Whatever you do, don’t miss the ‘Debbie Harry Queen of Punk: Portraits by Brian Aris’ exhibition at Proud Chelsea. It ends on 17th February 2013 and you can read my review as well as watch a couple of Blondie music videos here.

Debbie Harry

5. Don’t Miss The Hollywood Arms’ February movie calendar. With free entry and free popcorn, the films include: The Tourist, The Other Boleyn Girl, When Harry Met Sally and Greenburg. The Hollywood Arms are also introducing a monthly film club which kicks off on 11th February at 7.30pm with Senna.

Hollywood Arms

If you haven’t been upstairs at The Hollywood Arms, here is a photo of the room. It’s a great venue and you can order food as well as drinks there.

Hollywood Arms - Pub

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Ribs Feast at Bodean’s BBQ

by Chelsea Girl on January 31, 2013

Last night I popped in to try Bodean’s on Fulham Broadway for the very first time. I had passed it many times as well as the one in Soho and have always been intrigued. So with this weekend’s Super Bowl game in mind, I visited this BBQ shack for a taste of America – or Kansas City to be precise.

Bodean's BBQ - Fulham BroadwayDuring the day yesterday, the bf and I would IM each other ‘RIBS’ but what I hadn’t banked on was the wide selection of ribs on offer on Bodean’s menu.

Bodean's MenuIt wasn’t just a case of spare ribs. There were different types as well as variants on the BBQ theme such as burnt ends and pulled pork – the recent food trend of pulled pork had salvaged my ignorance somewhat.

So whilst trying to figure out the extensive rib menu, the bf and I decided on the Bodeans Nachos Supreme, which came with grilled grilled cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. Nachos are one of my favourite snacks and I’m always on the look-out for places that serve them well.

Bodeans - NachosIn the meantime, whilst chowing down, I broke a cardinal rule and ordered a soft drink to accompany my starter whilst the bf sipped his beer and later on, bourbon. It’s so rare that I drink a cola drink. I don’t see the point unless it’s accompanied by whiskey. Otherwise, it’s just a glass of sugar. But I could not resist the Black Cherry Soda bottle that looked so American old-school and well, everything tastes better from a bottle. And this was no exception. The Cherry Soda was sooo gooood and refreshing.

Bodeans - Cherry CokeIn the end, for our main, we decided to go all out and order the Boss Hog Platter which had pretty much everything on it. I wanted to figure out the difference between the different ribs and get a fast-track education, which I certainly did in a very delicious fashion. Check out the pile of meat!

Bodean's RibsThankfully, I had the bf with me who was ravenous. Cycling 20 miles a day kinda does that to a guy and between us, we almost demolished this platter for two. Though take note, some folks also have this dish just to themselves.

See, almost demolished!

Bodeans - DemolishedSo what was included in the Boss Hog Platter and what does it all mean?

Well, there were the spare ribs and baby back ribs. The spare ribs were your standard ribs, although these were the longest and meatiest spare ribs I’d ever tried. So juicy! The baby back ribs were shorter, leaner and a tad bit sweeter. If you’re looking for a taste of meat but not looking to over-indulge and break your fitty regime, the baby back ribs are the way to go.

The Jacob’s Ladder Beef Rib on the other hand is something else. It’s pretty much like having a steak. It’s the big piece of meat at the back of the photo. It’s thick, juicy and oh so tender. So easy to cut through. If you’re looking for a chunk of delicious meat, this is the one to go for.

Burnt Ends look like chunks of meat and have been cooked for hours. And again, they are very succulent. There are no bones involved. They are just cubes, so they’re easy to slice through and eat without getting your fingers dirty.

Also on the plate was Pulled Pork, which is pretty much slow cooked barbecued pork that become so tender, they can be pulled off the bone.

And finally, the Boss Hog Platter had Chicken Thighs and 2 smoked Sausages, which admittedly I couldn’t get to because I was saving what was left of myself for dessert. But they both did look very good.

For dessert, and yes, we did carry on … I ordered a key lime pie which I hadn’t had before and which I absolutely loved. It was so light and contrary to my expectations, the flavour wasn’t bitter at all. It was subtle; more like a cheesecake.

Bodean's Key Lime PieThe bf ended his meal with the honeycomb cheesecake, which was the cheesecake of the day. Again, very good. Bodean’s really do good desserts.

Honeycomb CheesecakeSo that was my ribs education last night and the next time I return, I think I want to give the chilli dog a try. There are so many places that do a good burger but I have yet to find somewhere that makes a chilli dog that blows me away.

Bodean’s Fulham , 4 Broadway Chambers Fulham Broadway , London, SW6 1EP

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Lunch at The Wellesley Hotel

by Chelsea Girl on January 29, 2013

Last week I was invited to take a look around the recently opened The Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge. I had popped in a few months ago when it was just a building site and I was very excited to return, to see the end result.

But before I take you on a tour with my photos, let me give you some interesting facts about the hotel. They’ll explain why I think this place is pretty special.

Each guest staying at this 36-room boutique hotel will have complimentary use of The Wellesley’s Rolls Royce for journeys within two miles of the area. Guests will also receive 24-hour butler service, Samsung tablets in their rooms and a Wellesley mobile phone to use whilst staying at the hotel.

When you walk into the building the first thing to hit you is the sumptuous art deco interior, of which I am a huge fan.

The Wellesley HotelTo your right you have The Crystal Bar, which houses an impressive array of cognac (some dating back to the 1770s), whiskies and champagne. The 1920s-inspired cocktails list is also very inviting.

The Wellesley HotelThe bar leads out onto an outdoor terrace with gorgeous leather seats. This isn’t a place you would want to leave in a hurry.

The Wellesley HotelAcross the corridor, in the hotel, is the Cigar Lounge and Terrace. And if you know any cigar fans, you might have to let them know that The Wellesley houses the largest bespoke hotel humidor in Europe and the biggest collection of cigars sold on a stick-by-stick basis in the world.

The Wellesley - Smoking Room

The Wellesley HotelI stepped into the humidor and whilst I don’t know too much about cigars, I do recognise an impressive collection when I see one.

The Wellesley HotelSome of the boxes which store the cigars were impressive in their own right and I could imagine a cigar aficionado having plenty of fun browsing this collection.

The Wellesley HotelAfter a look around, we stopped into the Oval Restaurant for lunch. With seating for 28 diners, I loved the intimacy of this venue as well the design.

The Wellesley HotelThe Italian menu inspired by seasonal ingredients was also a real delight to try.

For starters, I chose the roasted vegetable salad with goats cheese.

The Wellesley HotelFor main I had the pappardelle with wild boar.

The Wellesley HotelAnd for dessert, I had to try the apple tart with Armagnac ice cream.

The Wellesley HotelNeedless to say, attention to detail was integral to the presentation of these dishes. But the pleasures of lunch didn’t end there. The flavours and the quality of the fresh ingredients also elevated lunch to a more delectable level, which was topped off by these sweet offerings at the end.

The Wellesley HotelUnfortunately for me but fortunately for the hotel the bedrooms and suites were occupied, so I couldn’t take any photos this time round. But here is a photograph of one of the rooms, from my last visit – to give you some idea.

The Wellesley HotelAnd whilst I have no immediate reason to check into this hotel, I am intrigued by their jazz bar where Afternoon Tea is also served. The previous venue on this site was the legendary Pizza On The Park where some of the most revered jazz musicians have played. So it seems only fitting that The Wellesley Hotel would want to continue the musical legacy of this location by showcasing both established and up-and-coming acts in their Jazz Room. And that is exactly what they are doing. To find out more, have a look at The Wellesely’s website. This is truly a gorgeous hotel.

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